If you haven’t got your tickets for Affiliate Summit West 2010 (in Las Vegas) yet, you should take action soon (affiliate summit discount code at the bottom of this post).
Prices for hotels and air travel have been going up and will be peaking towards the end of this month (Nov).
Here’re the low down on Affiliate Summit:
What is it?
Although there’re other shows like AdTech, PubCon, Blog World Expo, these tend to have an offline marketing slant to them (AdTech), or aside from affiliate marketing, veer sharply into other directions like blogging, SEO, legal issues. There’s also another “free” affiliate conference, though I think you get what you pay for. In my opinion, it’s always good to go to a few shows to connect with the online marketing industry (and get out of the house).
For the biggest bang for your buck, especially for affiliate marketing-related issues, Affiliate Summit wins hands-down in my opinion. I’m particularly looking forward to the product datafeed and automation sessions at this upcoming summit.
The parties (at least 2-3 major ones every evening) are great for entertainment and even better with networking with your affiliate manager and other affiliates. It also helps not to get caught in a compromising position (whether with an adult entertainer, or falling on your face on the Vegas strip, and having the episode distributed on Flickr or Youtube…).
Which pass should you get?
There’s 3 classes of passes available: Silver, Gold, Platinum. Which should you get?
If you’re skint, you can try asking your affiliate network or affiliate manager if they can sponsor your pass, or if they’ve spare passes. They’d typically give these passes to their top affiliates, so unless you’re already a baller (or if the manager is really kind), you won’t be getting a free pass. If you’re already doing well, why’re you looking for a free pass anyway?
Shawn Collins (@AffiliateTip on Twitter) has been giving out codes for free Affiliate Summit passes over the past couple of days, so you can try your luck at scoring one.
But back to the passes:
Silver: This is the entry level (cheapest) pass and gives you access to the exhibit hall, meet market and keynotes).
The meet market like a mini tradeshow/swap meet that runs on the first day (Sunday) for a few hours from noon to 6pm. The exhibit spaces are tables, rather than booths and you’ll see smaller networks and merchants and a couple of service providers taking space here. I enjoy this part of the summit because of it’s intimate nature. Also because there’s a seminar track ongoing during the same time, you’ll have to balance your time at the meet market with the ongoing seminar sessions.
The silver pass will also give you access to the trade show which runs on the 2nd and 3rd day in a different hall. This is where many of the big affiliate and ad networks will take up booths and have their affiliate managers try to get you to sign up with them. It’s a good place to find out about new networks, and especially if you’re having difficulty getting your affiliate application accepted, having an affiliate manager contact might help get your application approved.
Keynote sessions – there’re 2 of them – Dr Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, will be delivering one and Brian “Copyblogger” Clark will be presenting the other. I’ve attended the keynotes every year I’ve been to the summits and none of them felt especially spectacular, so your mileage may vary.
Your silver pass also gives you access to the Affiliate Summit social network. Aside from adding some friends from the affiliate industry and getting a number of unsolicited private messages from affiliate managers, I haven’t been an active user of the network.
Gold Pass: This gives you all the stuff listed for the Silver pass, plus access to the sessions on the first day (Sunday).
For an additional $400 over the cost of the Silver pass, you can probably attend 3 sessions from the workshop sessions (I’m moderating/presenting a session at the first time slot at noon to 1pm on Sunday), so it’s your call whether it’s worth it. I’m planning to sit in on Jeremy Palmer and Ros Gardner’s session on affiliate promotion via videos, which could pay the $400 you’d pay multiple times over.
You’ll also get access to all the recorded workshop sessions from day 1, which can be very useful as several sessions look hands-on/actionable.
Platinum pass: This gives you entry to workshops across the 3 days. There’re a number of great marketers presenting as I’ve highlighted in my previous post, and I’ll be headed for at least 5 sessions (especially Scott Jangro’s session on product datafeeds).
You will probably suffer from information overload if you attend sessions all 3 days, which is a good thing you’ll get access to the recordings after the show.
Which pass should you get?
If you’re an affiliate newbie, the silver or platinum pass will be useful, especially in filling in any gaps you may have in your marketing knowledge.
If you’ve been an affiliate for at least a year, you might do better to arrange meetings with your affiliate managers, setup meetups with other affiliates ahead of time.
Hotel: I paid $750 earlier this year for 4 nights at the Rio (the summit venue). The official group rate for the upcoming summit is about $700 with the coupon code.
CarlRez checked an ABestWeb thread that mentioned LastMinuteTravel.com gave good deals and I got a 4 night stay at the Rio for about $325, a pretty substantial saving.
Affiliate Summit Coupon Code: You can use the code “ASW10WEE” (good for 10% off any type of conference registration)
I’ll see you in Vegas!